Pax and Pam Mahle moved to wine country in 1997 to pursue careers in wine. After a few years of tasting and sourcing wine from all over California for Dean & Deluca, Pax decided to start his own brand from a vineyard with which he felt a kismet connection. That vineyard was Alder Springs Vineyard, and after finding an investor to help realize the dream, Pax Wine Cellars was launched in 2000. The Mahles decided to make a bold choice by favoring the “untapped potential” of the Syrah grape. The entire lineup of wines came from cool climate vineyards in Sonoma County and Mendocino. The wines were big, rich expressions of Syrah that went on to be highly sought after and quickly established Pax as one of California’s premier producers of Syrah. Pax and Pam’s all-star lineup includes Alder Springs, Castelli-Knight Ranch and Griffin’s Lair Syrahs. He maintains the belief that great wines can only be made from great vineyards. For every vineyard Pax works with, there are 20 other vineyards that didn’t make the grade. Location, soil, exposition, dedicated growers, plant material and sustainability are all important factors that affect their decision. The goal with the chosen vineyards is simple: harvest ripe, healthy grapes, with balanced acids and sugars, which require no additions from the winery. The commitment to these vineyards is to learn from them every year, to make improvements in how the fruit is handled in order for it to express its uniqueness, and most importantly how growing vines are handled, year after year, to enable them to do just that.